Get Rich Slowly is proud to host the sixtieth Carnival of Personal Finance.
The Carnival is a digest of personal finance blogs. A different site hosts the event each week. Writers submit their best entries, and the host publishes links to them (with brief commentary). In this way readers find new blogs, and blogs find new readers.
There are some great submissions this week. For each entry, I’ve indicated the general topic, and have provided a brief summary.
At Stop Buying Crap, Cap shows how to keep track of 95% of your accounts in one place. How? By using Yodlee, an online bank-account aggregation service. I’ve been meaning to profile Yodlee and its kin for a while, but Cap has done a great job. If you’d like a central location for tracking all your accounts, check this out.
Jeannie at Bouncing Back has a long, though-provoking (and Ayn Rand-citing) piece on the dead-end road of conspicuous consumption. “Purchasing fine things does not make us fine people. It simply makes us people with very large and unmanageable credit card balances!”, she writes.
At I Will Teach You to Be Rich, Ramit proclaims that everybody wants to write a book, but few people ever follow through. “Doesn’t this book-writing example seem like so many other things?” asks Sethi. “We all say we want to be rich, lose weight, read more, hang out with friends, etc. But it’s the idea of being rich that’s more appealing than the daily grind of doing it.”
Amanda at Young and Broke provides a rundown of online banks, something that might be useful to you. I have no interest in moving money from my local credit union, but you might.
I wish Jim at Bargaineering had posted his advice earlier. He recommends getting an Entertainment book for your next vacation — it will be filled with coupons and discounts for whichever city you’re visiting. We’re leaving for San Francisco later this week, and could use some good coupons!
Investing (and Books)
At the ominouosly-titled Island of Doctor Death, Parker tells how reading a book saved him $20,000 in two weeks. I love reading stories of how people are able to take information gleaned from personal finance books and then apply it successfully to their own lives. This is a great example. (The book in question — Secrets of the Millionaire Mind — is one I’ve had in my to-read stack for the past year.)
Claire at Tired But Happy wants to start a CD ladder at ING Direct, but is unhappy with the “out-of-the-box” choices. She’s setting up her own manual CD ladder. (We discussed CD ladders here a couple weeks ago.) Her experience might help you understand how this investment idea works in real-life.
John, the Mighty Bargain Hunter, has some thoughts on his two vehicles, which have 300,000 miles between them. The cars still run well, but he’s beginning to think about replacing them. He discusses the places he’s been looking for used cars.
Jon at The Art of Money writes that you should Be, Do, Have. That is, if you want to be wealthy, you must do the things that the wealthy do so that you can have what the wealthy have. Most people operate in a “what if” mode, planning to do these things “eventually”, some time in the future. The best time to change is now.
Single Ma’s Fabulous Financials looks at a Bankrate article featuring 10 ways to decorate without debt. There are some excellent frugal decorating ideas here.
Jeffrey Stain at Personal Finance Advice has some — gasp — personal finance advice on the best way to spend money. His answer? No surprise, if you’re a regular Get Rich Slowly reade: Stain basically says to do what works for you.
My First Million at 33 offers two must-do money saving tips: open a high-interest savings account and use a cash-back rewards credit card for most purchases. (Please note: Get Rich Slowly advises against the use credit cards. If you’ve had trouble with them, don’t open an account just because you want to get 5% cash back.)
Have you considered using Prosper, the “online marketplace for people-to-people lending”? Then you may be interested in this interview at Blogging Away Debt in which Tricia interviews another blogger about Prosper. You can learn a bit about how the service works, and read some first-hand experience with it.
Then Things discusses expanding the definition of “professional development”. The author takes a bold step at work, asking her employer for more training and more responsibility, and she is rewarded for it. “Ideally the professional training you receive will lead to the ultimate goal of your personal finances — more money.”
Praveen from My Simple Trading System shares the rules for his zen-like, present-moment-focused stock trading system. He buys $2000 in a position and then re-adjusts back to $2000 once a year.
Free the Drones looks at an investment strategy for frugal savers, a strategy that uses index funds. The entry describes a woman who, after graduating from college, lived at home with her parents and invested the bulk of her income. Within just a few years, she’d accumulated a six-figure portfolio!
Mapgirl takes some cold comfort in the fact that her recent medical expenses will be 2006 tax write-offs. She discusses other possible write-offs, and wonders what she can do to lighten her tax burden.
Free Money Finance has some thoughts on how to get an incorrect medical bill fixed. If you’re trapped in bureaucratic hell, you might try calling a local politician!
Old Niu offers the third part in his series on how much you need to retire.
At Getting Out of Debt, Supermom notes that getting a degree may become easier. If the U.S. Congress passes a particular bill, online universities will be able to accept financial aid.
At Fat Pitch Financials, George offers a spreadsheet he’s developed to find “wide moat” companies. Of course, this won’t make sense unless you’ve read about Phil Town’s Rule #1 Investing. This is an entry of interest only to serious investors (but they’ll love it!).
Opportunities Aplenty argues that you should avoid bankruptcy by staying away from medical problems. Experts estimate that as many as 46% of U.S. bankruptcies are the result of medical expenses. This entry promises that you can mitigate your chances of facing this nightmare through a healthy diet, regular exercise, and quality health insurance.
At The Good Human, David asks how you decide how much to tip. He recently suffered poor service at a restaurant and left a small tip. He wants others’ opinions on tipping: where, when, why, and how much?
Five Cent Nickel conducts an experiment and learns that old Emigrant Direct account numbers still work.
Nathan at InvestorGeeks discusses some reasons for investing in gold and silver. Though I don’t agree with his conclusions, Nathan’s long article is well-argued and certainly makes for interesting reading.
David Porter at Pacesetter Mortgage suggests that it may be time to re-evaluate your home-equity line of credit. With interest rates rising, you want to make some changes. This is a post from a mortgage broker’s blog.
Accumulating Money looks at how gas prices affect your wallet and your behavior. An interesting idea — I would have liked a more in-depth piece.
US Postal Service
Amy at Mom Advice talks about her adventures in shipping. She has a new postal scale (that can also be used for food!) and she loves the free stuff available from the US Postal Service web site. If you need tips on shipping, check it out.
Bob at the InsureBlog explains that one way to look at insurance is to examine how much money you have at risk each year. He offers a formula that takes into account your premiums and your deductibles to help you evaluate your best insurance option. An interesting idea but a confusing read.
Searchlight Crusade explains what fees you can recover if your home loan is denied. The short answer is none, but Dan has a longer answer, too, if you’re interested.
Frugality (and Celebrity)
Nina at Queer Cents thinks that maybe Glenn Close clips coupons. She knows for sure that Close flies discount airlines. Who doesn’t love frugal celebrities?
Bryan C. Fleming has some thoughts on how to work less and get more done. He thinks we should do it. This is a good entry, and in some other carnival it might have been near the top of the list. But it has nothing to do with personal finance.
Monica, The Girl Who, discusses her breasts and the things that are financial priorities when you’re flat broke. Milk or Diet Coke: which would you choose?
The Real Returns has a money market fund survey of seven exchange-traded money market funds from Vanguard and Fidelity.
Daniel at My Money Path asks, “Does gambling hurt your net worth?” He spends $625 to $935 per year gambling but concludes it doesn’t hurt his net worth. Sounds like funny math to me.
My Financial Awareness asks is a home an investment or a liability?
How to Make a Million Dollars advises that you look before you leap — what [sic] out for so called “GREAT DEALS”. A great piece of advice, but this piece is badly in need of revision.
Brian Brown suggests that you treat yourself like a business: You, Inc. This is a post from a CPA firm’s blog.
Roth & Company, P.C. discusses why people hire tax help. This is a post from a CPA firm’s blog.
Blog carnivals are an interesting idea. At their best, they’re a great chance to introduce readers to helpful material at other sites that they might have otherwise missed. At their worst, they’re organized linkwhoring.
Some of the submissions I received this week were simply splog links (splog = spam blog). Other submissions had great content, but had nothing to do with personal finance. Others were about personal finance, but were poorly written.
If blog carnivals are going to be useful and meaningful to readers, bloggers need to take a stand. We’ve got to quit submitting inappropriate entries for inclusion, and, when we host, we’ve got to be selective.
You can help by only submitting high-quality entries about personal finance.
Next week’s carnival will be hosted by Frank, the Financially Savvy Atheist.
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